Survey: Slovaks Fear Migrants and Their Culture

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Migrants at Greek border

Bratislava, March 8 (TASR) – The migration crisis still stokes fears among Slovaks and the majority of them cannot imagine the enlargement of the Muslim community in Slovakia, according to a survey conducted by Trencin-based Alexander Dubcek University’s Department of Political Sciences (TnUAD) that was released Tuesday.

According to the survey, 61.3 percent of respondents believe that EU should shelter first and foremost those migrants who fled their homes because of military conflicts. Eleven percent of respondents agree with accepting asylum seekers due to religious reasons, 10.2 percent due to political reasons and 6.8 percent due to economic reasons, whereas the rest is either simply against accepting migrants or undecided.

“Only 7.6 percent of all respondents think that the migrants might turn out to be a plus for Slovakia. On the contrary, up to 75.5 percent is worried that the arrival of asylum seekers could herald the rise of the crime rate,” said survey coordinator Marcel Lincenyi.

According to Lincenyi, it was also some politicians who compounded the problems by engaging in negative statements on migrants to pursue their own political ends in the build-up to the March general election, instead of explaining the dynamics of the problem responsibly.

According to the survey, Slovaks wouldn’t want to have asylum seekers for neighbours. The majority (70.6 percent) would take objection to have an asylum facility opened in their neighbourhood and 88.2 percent of respondents don’t want a mosque erected in their town.

A total of 76.8 percent of all respondents are convinced that mandatory migration resettlement quotas won’t help EU in tackling the migration crisis, whereas 81.9 percent consider it wrong to have EU dictate the quotas to its member states. “The most effective solution to the migration crisis is to combat its underlying causes, namely, wars and terror in Syria and Iraq. It was 63.3 percent of respondents who agreed with this statement,” said Lincenyi.

The survey was conducted in November 1, 2015-January 31, 2016 on a sample of 1,033 respondents.